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History of IHM

The history of education on this site began in 1885, with the establishment of the Belmont School for Boys, a private secondary “Prep” school. In 1918, Archbishop Edward J. Hanna purchased the school for the Archdiocese of San Francisco and operated it as a Catholic boys’ “Prep” school until 1932. At that time, with the approval of Coadjutor Archbishop John J. Mitty, the Sisters of Mercy moved St. Joseph’s Military Academy from Rio Vista to the Belmont site and operated it as a boys’ grammar school until June, 1952.

In the meantime, Belmont became a “mission” of St. Charles Parish, San Carlos, in 1922, and was established as a parish in its own right under the title of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1947. Ten acres of the St. Joseph’s site were purchased from the Archdiocese of San Francisco by Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, when it became available. The first thing the parish did was to establish its’ parish school, which opened in September, 1952, with grades 1-6 in St. James Hall, formerly Sierra Hall, where Sunrise Assisted Living stands today. Three years later, in 1955, grades 7 and 8 were added and moved into what is now the Science/Extended Care building, a structure that dates back to 1913.

Our present school building was started in late 1961 and opened in October, 1962. Archbishop Joseph T. McGucken blessed the structure on May 4, 1963. Improvements to this main school building have included the extension of the library in 1970 and remodeled bathrooms in 1998. The school program was expanded to include kindergarten level in 1975, and to meet the needs of working parents, Extended Care was established in 1988. Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish built a new Parish Center, which was blessed by Archbishop William J. Levada on December 14, 2003. This newer building contains a Gymnasium/Auditorium, a TK/Kindergarten classroom, and in response to the expressed needs of our Belmont Parish community, another classroom to provide space for a Montessori inspired Preschool class, which began operation in September, 2010.

In order to maintain high standards and to provide for the changing needs of our students as we instill 21st century skills, we have added a Foreign Language/Spanish class, a Makerspace/Technology class, an hour-long Art class, and several Middle School electives (i.e. Robotics, Photography, Coding, Advanced Drawing and Painting, American Sign Language, French, Cooking, and Yearbook/Journalism) to our STREAM school curriculum. In 2020, we dedicated and celebrated the opening of our new STREAM Lab which contains our Makerspace and Art classes and many supplies for students to design, engineer, and create. In 2021, we dedicated our new Science Lab, Lablearner, with a special celebration ceremony. At Immaculate Heart of Mary School, we continue to grow and change for the betterment of our community. Recently, we even added Keyboarding and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) HEART classes. We are proud to have a Librarian, a Resource Teacher, and a Science Lab Coordinator on staff.

Immaculate Heart of Mary School continues to flourish in an atmosphere that cherishes and shares its Catholic faith, tradition and values; its love for its students; and its commitment to excellence. At Immaculate Heart of Mary School, our students create! See what else they can do!

Succession of Pastors:

Fr. Daniel I. Riordan,
Pastor 1947-1950;

Msgr. John J. Kenny,
Administrator 1950-1951,
Pastor 1951-1981;

Fr. William A. O’Connell,
Pastor 1981-1990;

Fr. James H. MacDonald,
Pastor 1990-2001;

Fr. Daniel E. Carter,
Pastor 2001-2003;

Fr. Joseph P. Healy,
Administrator 2002;

Fr. Stephen H. Howell,
Administrator 2002-2004,
Pastor 2004-2016

Fr. Mark G. Mazza,
Pastor 2018 – Present

Succession of Principals:

Sister Adrienne Marie Cain, S.N.D.deN.,
Principal 1952 – 1957;

Sister Janet Marie Egan, S.N.D.deN.,
Principal 1957 – 1959;

Sister Ann Christine Barry, S.N.D.deN.,
Principal 1959 – 1961;

Sister Peter (Barbara Ruth) Birch, S.N.D.deN.,
Principal 1961-1966;

Sister Josephe Therese (Marie) Treanor, S.N.D.deN.,
Principal 1966 – 1971;

Sister Bernice Heinz, S.N.D.deN.,
Principal 1971 – 1974;

Sister Ann Christine Berry, S.N.D.deN.,
Principal 1974 – 1984;

Dr. Margaret C. Purcell – Brisken,
Principal 1984 – 2007;

Ms. Sandra E. Larragoiti
Principal 2007 – 2010;

Mrs. Hannah C. Everhart
Principal 2010 – 2012;

Mrs. Teri Grosey
Principal 2012 – 2017;

Ms. Jessica Schaukowitch
Administrator 2018 - 2019;

Dr. Andrea Harville
Principal 2020 – Present